Storm finalises NRL playing squad

Melbourne Storm has completed its playing roster for 2019.

Fiji representative Isaac Lumelume comes to Melbourne after being granted an early release from his contract by the Cronulla Sharks.

An outside back, Isaac made his debut for the Bati in the centres in their runaway victory against Lebanon last weekend and has previously represented New South Wales in the under-18s (2016) and under-20s (2017).

The 21-year-old has scored four tries in eight Canterbury Cup appearances for the Newtown Jets this season.

Halfback/five-eighth Cooper Johns, who has starred for the Sunshine Coast Falcons in their record winning streak to start the Intrust Super Cup season, has been promoted to Storm’s senior list for the first time after being part of the development squad since the start of 2018.

A former junior with the Narraweena Hawks in Sydney, Cooper has been credited with 14 try assists (third highest in the competition) and eight line break assists in 12 appearances for the Falcons this season.

He has taken the final position in the Storm’s NRL top 30 for 2019.

Meanwhile, forward Aaron Pene, who has been a standout performer in the Intrust Super Cup for the Central Capras in 2019, has been signed to a development contract.

The 24-year-old has averaged 142 metres per game and has tallied 46 tackle breaks in his 14 appearances for the Capras this season.

Sunshine Coast Falcons front-rower Darryn Schonig has also signed with Storm, further highlighting the pathway that exists to the NRL from Melbourne’s two affiliated Intrust Super Cup clubs.

Darryn joins the likes of Tui Kamikamica, Billy Walters, Nicho Hynes and Ryley Jacks who have come through either the Falcons or Brisbane Easts to successfully gain a Storm contract.  

All four players have been signed through to the end of the 2020 season.